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What is a Gastroplasty?

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  • Written By: Dulce Corazon
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A gastroplasty, also known as stomach stapling, is a surgical procedure generally performed for weight loss purposes. The procedure is often done under general anesthesia. It usually involves vertical stapling of the stomach, where the superior part is stapled to form a small pouch and is joined with the stomach’s remaining parts through a small opening. Weight loss is achieved by slowing down food passage in the stomach, thus making the patient feel full with lesser food intake.

The main goal for this type of surgical repair is to assist morbidly obese individuals lose weight, especially if their weight interferes with normal daily activities. Other indications for gastroplasty in obese individuals include health complications, such as sleep apnea, the cessation of breathing while sleeping, and increased cholesterol levels which may lead to heart disease. Physicians often follow certain guidelines before recommending patients for weight loss surgery.

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Candidates for gastroplasty include individuals from 18 to 65 years old whose body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40 and are suffering from complications of obesity, such as diabetes mellitus. Those who have made several attempts at losing weight for three to five years without successful results are also good candidates. It is also for individuals weighing about 100 pounds (45 kg) or more above their ideal body weight. Patients are also evaluated if they are capable of undergoing surgery. Pregnant women, and patients with mental illness, alcohol dependency, severe cardiopulmonary ailments and bleeding tendencies are discouraged to undergo gastroplasty.

After the procedure, patients are usually advised to comply with the prescribed special diet. Only pure liquids are allowed the first two weeks of surgery, followed by soft diet or easy-to-swallow foods for another three weeks. Solid foods are usually introduced in the sixth week. Patients are also expected to follow some form of regular exercise to avoid further weight gain.

A team of health care providers composed of the surgeon, psychologist, nutritionist, and dietitian are often involved in the management of these patients. They are responsible in explaining the step-by-step surgical process, the risks and benefits involved, and the expected outcomes. The health team also regularly monitors the weight and overall well-being of the patient to ensure success of the operation and of the weight loss plan.

Normal function of the digestive system is not disturbed in gastroplasty. Malabsorption syndromes and nutritional deficiencies such as anemia are less common when compared with gastric bypass surgery, a surgical procedure where a portion of the stomach is removed. Gastroplasty is also done by using the laparoscopic method. It is a technique where a scope is inserted into a tiny incision made in the stomach for internal visualization of the organ and for performing gastroplasty. This procedure is quicker with lesser complications.

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